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FSW 29: Bangladesh Startup Funding Report 2021, Year in Review, and more

In this edition, we cover: 

  • On Building Great Travel Products, Product Management, and Business Intelligence: Khondoker Mashuk Ibn Mahfuz, VP, Product and Business Intelligence, Go Zayaan
  • ShopUp Extends Series B Funding Round with $34 Million from Tiger Global and Others 
  • Bangladesh Startup Funding Report 2021
  • How Chaldal Has Become Bangladesh's Largest Online Egg Seller
  • 13 Lessons I Have Learned From 2021
  • Green Grocery Raises New Investment, Eyes to Strengthen Supply Chain and Accelerate Growth
  • Best of Future Startup 2021: 18 Must Read Founder Interviews

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On Building Great Travel Products: Khondoker Mashuk Ibn Mahfuz

Khondoker Mashuk Ibn Mahfuz is the Vice President of Product and Business Intelligence at fast-growing travel-tech startup Go Zayaan where he and his team look after the product development and management and business intelligence efforts.  

In this interview, we speak with Mashuk about his work, product management, how Go Zayaan has built some excellent travel-tech products, how product development and management work at Go Zayaan, the science and art of building great products, autodidactism, personal productivity, and much more. 

ShopUp Extends Series B Funding Round with $34 Million from Tiger Global and Others 

ShopUp, the Dhaka-based full-stack B2B commerce startup digitizing neighborhood shops with an ecosystem of solutions from marketplace to logistics to capital, has closed a $34-million Series B extension round led by Tiger Global Management. The extension takes ShopUp’s total series B investment to $109 million. ShopUp raised its $75 million series B funding round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and Prosus Ventures just four months ago.

Bangladesh Startup Funding Report 2021

  • 53+ Bangladeshi startups raised more than $380Mn in disclosed investments, this includes bKash’s $250 million round from Softbank Vision Fund II in November 2021. Apart from this, many startups raised undisclosed seed and pre-seed investment. 
  • The country saw a few exits in Chaldal acquiring BanglaMeds, Shikho acquiring Bohubrihi.
  • Although bKash, ShopUp, Chaldal, Paperfly, Praava Health, Frontier Nutrition, and Truck Lagbe make up the bulk of it, the increase in total funding is meaningful compared to previous years. In 2020, the total funding was around $40Mn. 

How Chaldal Has Become Bangladesh's Largest Online Egg Seller

Chaldal has been selling eggs since its inception in 2013. It figured that since eggs are a daily necessity for every Bangladeshi household, customers should be able to buy eggs online more easily. This goes well with the company’s core thesis that: people should not have to wait for hours in traffic or queue up to buy necessities like eggs.  

Began organically in those early days, today Chaldal is probably the largest seller of eggs online, partly due to rocketing consumer demand for fresh eggs in the coronavirus era, but more importantly because of Chaldal's excellent quality eggs and service. 

13 Lessons I Have Learned From 2021

Reality is the best teacher. We learn the best when we fail, make mistakes, stumble, and suffer. The second-best approach to learning is learning from the life experiences and mistakes of others. Moreover, learning from others allows us to save ourselves from making all the mistakes ourselves.

To that end, per our annual tradition, I put together some of the most important lessons I have learned in 2021 from some of the best founders we interviewed in 2021. The lessons cover everything from building companies, personal growth to having a good life.

Green Grocery Raises New Investment, Eyes to Strengthen Supply Chain and Accelerate Growth

Green Grocery, a Dhaka-based direct-to-consumer safe food company that sells chemical-free fresh food products, announced that it has raised a pre-seed investment. The company says it directly sources from farmers, processes in-house, and delivers directly to customers. The company offers a wide range of handpicked products sourced from different parts of the country including varieties of rice, spices, homemade spreads, brewed oils, ghee, pickle, and much more.

Best of Future Startup 2021: 18 Must-Read Founder Interviews

Like every year, this annual reflection is a collection of interviews with some of the most interesting people building companies in Bangladesh and beyond. 

These are fascinating interviews. Each interview looks deeper into the companies these founders are building, how these companies operate and are doing as businesses. 


Interesting ideas

Azeem’s 2022 Trends: Web 3.0, Sci-Fi Tech, and the Metaverse. Link

Dismal online class penetration during pandemic (Bangla). [Link]

Book recommendation: I'm enjoying Shail Lavingia's The Minimalist Entrepreneur. Link


Classifieds

AmarLab brings the diagnostic lab to the doorsteps of people in urgent need of medical tests. The company has partnered with reputed diagnostic centers with an ambition to make healthcare easily accessible to everyone, everywhere. Learn more.

Future Startup Content Marketing Service: Tell your compelling brand story. Connect with the most influential audience in business and tech in Bangladesh. Learn more.

Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at [email protected]

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